MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP)—For weeks, Kansas State has been trying to find out just how good freshmen Michael Beasley and Bill Walker could be with both clicking at the same time.
On Saturday, the dynamic duo provided a glimpse of what could lie ahead.
Walker had 27 points and 10 rebounds, Beasley added 21 points and 10 boards, and Kansas State erupted for a dominating 101-59 win over Wagner on Saturday.
Walker scored 16 of his points in just eight second-half minutes, and at one point he and Beasley scored 17 consecutive Kansas State points.
“We’re most effective when we take our time, rotate the ball and take advantage of guys getting off their angles,” Walker said. “If we can keep doing that, then we’ll be highly effective.”
It was Beasley’s 12th straight double-double to begin his college career, and Walker recorded the third of his career.
Freshman Dominique Sutton—who joined the team Wednesday—chipped in with 10 points and four rebounds in limited action in his Kansas State debut. Sutton was rated the No. 2 player in North Carolina by Rivals.com but was forced to return to prep school for one more semester because of academic shortcomings.
Jamar Samuels, who faced the same situation as Sutton, also joined the team on Wednesday but did not play against Wagner. Kansas State coach Frank Martin said he had not reached a decision about possibly redshirting Samuels.
Sutton proved to be just one more star to add to an already-loaded freshman class for Kansas State (9-4), which has won four games in a row since a Dec. 4 loss to Notre Dame. He scored eight of the team’s final 10 points, helping the Wildcats to their highest point total of the season.
“He’s an explosive guy,” Walker said of Sutton, who was unavailable to the media. “He’s going to give us another dimension, another guy that can get out there and create defensive turnovers and finish.”
Beasley and Walker controlled the interior throughout the game, helping the Wildcats outscore the undersized Seahawks 52-22 in the paint.
Ron Anderson—another freshman—had a career-high 14 points and six rebounds, and Clent Stewart scored 12. It was the first time Kansas State had five players in double figures since Jan. 13 of last season.
As good as the offense was, Martin seemed most satisfied with his players’ defensive play, which he called hands-down the best this season.
“We’ve lined up and we’ve defended well the past two games,” Martin said. “Those two guys (Sutton and Samuels) have come in, and our practices have become a lot more competitive and a lot more athletic.”
Joey Mundweiler scored 20 points to lead the Seahawks (8-4), who entered the game winners of seven of eight but had yet to face anyone close to Kansas State’s caliber. Before Saturday their strength of schedule was ranked 320th (out of 342) in the nation.
Wagner was clearly flustered, committing 13 turnovers in the first 14 minutes and committing 16 first-half fouls, which led to 23 Kansas State free throws.
“It didn’t seem we had the right psyche going into the game to go out and compete against these guys,” Wagner coach Mike Deane said. “Their pressure certainly bothered us. We haven’t seen that kind of pressure so far.”